“A Saucer of Loneliness,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1953 – After being chided by her mother for not being married yet, Margaret, a young waitress, cries herself to sleep. The next day she’s accosted on the street by a small flying saucer and given a message. As various parties (the crowd, the government, the press) try to pry the experience and message from her, she fights for her right to privacy, to refuse to divulge the message. Her mother throws her out; men ask her for dates to ask about the alien; desperate parents ask her to use the message from “Jesus” to heal their son… Alienated, unable to communicate or convince, she becomes suicidal and flees to the seashore, where she used to enjoy taking walks. She releases a message “to the loneliest one” and a sympathetic man prevents her suicide.
Comments: A story of alienation, privacy, and connection against a background of media saturation and military intrusiveness.
Author: Wikipedia: “Theodore Sturgeon (born Edward Hamilton Waldo; February 26, 1918 – May 8, 1985) was an American science fiction and horror author…In 1951, Sturgeon coined what is now known as Sturgeon’s Law: ‘Ninety percent of [science fiction] is crud, but then, ninety percent of everything is crud.’…Sturgeon was a distant relative of Ralph Waldo Emerson.”